In the News 2015

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Matters Of The Mind: Support Program Helps Siblings Of Mental Health Patients
A partnership between several New England groups aims to make the ripple effects of mental illness a little easier to handle within families. Read/watch the WBZ-TV news segment about the Sibling Support Program: A Family-Centered Mental Health Initiative developed by Emily Rubin, MA of UMass Medical School's Department of Psychiatry and the E.K. Shriver Center. She also discusses the impact of stress on siblings in the December 2015 MCPAP newsletter.
Benjamin to WBZ News Radio: Brain training does not deter dementia
UMass Medical School neuropsychiatry expert Sheldon Benjamin, MD, was straightforward in an interview with WBZ News Radio about whether playing brain games or solving crossword puzzles can stave off cognitive decline from memory loss to Alzheimer's disease. “Staying cognitively active does not protect you against dementia,” Dr. Benjamin said. Read the story in UMassMedNow.
Can Meditation Gadgets Help You Reduce Your Stress—and Find Happiness?
New gadgets and apps are trying to make mindfulness meditation—an often perplexing practice—a lot easier for beginners. But how much can we expect our smartphones to enlighten us? Judson Brewer weighs in on the recent development of consumer electronic devices being marketed to help people meditate and how they differ from the devices used in clinical research. Read the story in the Dec. 31 Wall Street Journal.
UMMS neuroscientists shed light on brain 'braking' mechanism associated with addiction, ADHD
Neuroscientists at UMass Medical School have discovered a molecular braking mechanism for the brain chemical dopamine that may lead to more effective treatments for some forms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other mental health disorders in which abnormal dopamine function plays a central role. Read more.
Sustaining the legacy of late chancellor emeritus Aaron Lazare
Members of the UMass Medical School community gathered on Friday, Sept. 11, to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Aaron Lazare, MD, chancellor emeritus of UMass Medical School, at a tribute held in his honor. Creation of The Aaron Lazare Award for Psychiatry and the Aaron Lazare, MD, Memorial Student Education Fund were announced at the event. Read more.
UMMS receives $2.5 million CDC grant to help ob/gyns treat depression during, after pregnancy
UMass Medical School has developed an innovative program to reach more women with perinatal depression by empowering obstetricians to treat patients' psychiatric needs in their own practices. Now, with a first-of-its-kind, $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), investigators at UMMS will test the new approach as a potential national model to address the urgent public health problem of depression during and after pregnancy. Read the story in UMassMed Now.
Dr. Kristina Deligiannidis' poster abstract entitled "Plasma Neuroactive Steroids and GABA Concentrations in Peripartum Women At-risk for Postpartum Depression" was designated a Top Poster Finalist for the SOBP 70th Annual Meeting. The poster abstract was 1 of 45 abstracts chosen as a top poster finalist out of a total of 823 scientific poster abstracts, representing the top 5% of all accepted poster abstracts for presentation. Co-authors on the poster included: Aimee Kroll-Desrosiers, Shunyan Mo, Hien P. Nguyen, Abby Svenson, Nina Jaitly, Janet Hall, Bruce Barton, Anthony Rothschild and Scott Shaffer. The study was funded by the CCTS Pilot Program Project grant (KMD) provided by UMMS CTSA grant UL1TR000161 (KMD) and NIMH 5K23MH097794 (KMD).
Jean Frazier named director of Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at UMMS
Child and adolescent psychiatry leader Jean A Frazier, MD, has been named the director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at UMMS, a new program that brings together three entities—the Child and Adolescent Neurodevelopmental Initiative (CANDI), the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (CANDO) and the former Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center for Developmental Disabilities. Read the article in UMassMed Now.
Faculty Scholar Award Winner
The recipient of the May 2015 UMMS Faculty Scholar Award, Dr. Wendy Marsh, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Director, Bipolar Disorders Specialty Clinic was recently selected from a pool of competitive applications. The goal of the award is to assist faculty by providing funds to continue research and scholarly efforts while managing a finite period of increased family care responsibilities. Read more.
Greer Jordan, PhD, served as a Discussant at the Center for Mindfulness Spring Conference which took place April 10-12 in Shrewsbury, MA. Attendees came from across the U.S. and around the world including Ireland and China. The session, Contemplative and Ethical Leadership: Emerging Questions, was presented by Diana Chapman-Walsh, PhD, with additional discussant Amy Gross, Mindfulness Meditation New York Collaborative, Former Editor of O Magazine. The session touched on themes of leadership challenges, authentic leadership, how leaders need to show vulnerability and be effective in building trust and confidence simultaneously, and how mindfulness practice and or self-awareness has shaped and continues to shape our leadership paths. The conference recording is available at
New mothers getting help for postpartum depression through new state program led by UMMS
A new, state-funded program led by UMass Medical School is helping new mothers suffering from post-partum depression get the help they need, according to a WCVB-TV report. Read the article in UMassMed Now.
The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has chosen the UMass Medical Department of Psychiatry to receive the Outstanding Organization of the Year Award during Deaf and Hard of Hearing Constituents' Day at the State House on April 14, 2015. This award is given in recognition of the department's commitment to conducting research through Deaf and Deaf-competent clinical researchers and through its work to address the significant behavioral health disparities experienced by Deaf people in Massachusetts and beyond. Read more about the Department of Psychiatry of UMass Medical School / UMass Memorial Health Care Deaf Behavioral Health Team here.
Occupational therapy practitioners are inherently part of clinical teams but not all teams are the same. On March 28, Mary Beth Kadlec, ScD, OTR/L, and Susan Swanson, MA, CCC-SLP, provided an example of a new interdisciplinary team in Central Massachusetts that serves youth with autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental disorders at the Massachusetts Association for Occupational Therapy Conference at Worcester State. The team consists of occupational therapy and speech and language practitioners collaborating with child psychiatrists, pediatric neurologists, developmental behavioral pediatrician, and family resource specialist to provide an effective and efficient service delivery model benefiting youth, families, and providers.
Psychiatry residents and fellows with roots in Puerto Rico return to the island to raise awareness of mental health issues and the need to increase access to care for the territory’s residents. UMass Medical School Department of Psychiatry's Auralyd Padilla, MD, PGY-5 Child Fellow, was among those who sought to encourage students to become interested in psychiatry.  Read the story in Psychiatric News.
2015 Central Massachusetts Regional Brain Bee
Congratulations to Snigdha Allaparthi, 9th grade student at Lexington High School and winner of the 9th Annual Central Massachusetts Regional Brain Bee!  Miss Allaparthi will be traveling to Baltimore, MD, to compete in the national brain bee in March.  Read the T&G article here.